People who have been infected with malaria produce antibodies. These antibodies can provide protection from further infection, but they can also prevent the spread of malaria as the antibodies destroy the parasites in the mosquito's stomach, or prevent fertilization. In that case, it is not the patient who benefits from the antibodies that he or she produces, but other people who are bitten by the mosquito. This is therefore an interesting form of altruistic immunity.
Malaria researcher Teun Bousema at Radboud university medical center and his colleagues at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), have discovered that 1 in 25 malaria patients are able to stop malaria spreading in this way. Amongst missionaries who had been infected with malaria dozens of times during their missionary work, immunity was even more common. Bousema: "This is the first time that we have been able to produce direct evidence that human antibodies against malaria parasite proteins are able to prevent the spread of malaria." The results will be published in Nature Communications on February 8th.
Research - People - Spread - Malaria - Patient
Research into whether people can stop the spread of malaria is incredibly labor-intensive. For each patient, dozens of mosquitoes need to...
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